Treading on Hallowed Ground: Counterinsurgency Operations in Sacred Spaces
By C. Christine Fair and Sumit Ganguly
After America's ill-prepared invasion of Iraq, the U.S. military had to confront a unique aspect of waging a counterinsurgency campaign: fighting against an insurgency that often strategically positions itself on the "hallowed ground" that surrounds holy places of worship. As the contributors to Treading on Hallowed Ground show, this troublesome question is not unique to Iraq; counterinsurgency efforts on religiously contentious terrain are a widespread phenomenon in recent times, ranging from North Africa to Central and Southeast Asia. C. Christine Fair and Sumit Ganguly have assembled an impressive group of experts to explore the most important counterinsurgency efforts in sacred spaces in Israel, India, Kashmir, Pakistan, Thailand, and Saudi Arabia. Taken together, the essays compose the first comprehensive account of this increasingly pivotal component of contemporary war.
"This smart, well-executed set of essays should interest not only tacticians of counterinsurgency warfare but anyone seeking to understand how politicized religion confronts the practical dilemmas of struggling for power"-Jack Snyder, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Relations, Columbia University
"When insurgent or terrorist use the shield of holy places as a weapon of war, how should governments respond? Treading on Hallowed Ground is the best book to appear on this subject. Readers will find clear thinking, clear writing, and complete coverage of relevant history in these pages. This volume will be must reading for all students of counterinsurgency and counter-terror strategy."-Stephen Van Evera, Professor of Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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